Our country’s understanding of (and attitude towards) drugs is a funny one. While it’s often seen as fine to go out every weekend to the bars with your friends, the briefest mention of LSD, peyote, or ayahuasca is likely to change peoples’ opinions of you. Is this justified? Science seems to think that it’s probably not.
130,000 Americans, as well as 19,299 admitted users of psychedelics, participated in a study where researchers were unable to find evidence that links psychotropic drug use to mental health issues. In this same study, alcohol’s implication was also examined — and shown to be a definite contributor to suicidal tendencies and depression. What was found next is even more amazing, though:
“Drug experts consistently rank LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as much less harmful to the individual user and to society compared to alcohol and other controlled substances.” These words from a study by Norway’s Research Council mimic the self-reported effects of psychoactives, as well: Most users report deep or meaningful experiences while using LSD or mushrooms. Though these reports are subjective, they point to something important.
Dr. Krebs, one of the neuroscientists in charge of analyzing data from the study, sees no particular reason , from a public health perspective, why psychedelic substances would be outlawed. The study supports her analysis, showing almost no total cost to society for psychedelic drug use — as opposed to a huge cost for the effects of alcohol, from violence to health care.
Stanford philosophy graduate Sam Harris shares his view on how psychedelics undeniably expand our minds. Including a helpful introduction on “what not to do”, it goes on to explain the process of using psychedelics in a thoughtful and respectful manner.
See the article that inspired this one here